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New Pier Plaques Unveiled for 2014 AVP Winners

Aug 13, 2015 10:05PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

2014 AVP Manhattan Beach Open champs Phil Dalhausser, Sean Rosenthal, April Ross, and Kerri Walsh Jennings with Manhattan Beach Mayor Mark Burton

The Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) and the city of Manhattan Beach honored the 2014 winners of the Manhattan Beach Open at a Walk of Fame pier ceremony on Thursday,

2014 champs Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross, Phil Dalhausser, and Sean Rosenthal, along with local leaders and AVP dignitaries, were on hand to unveil the plaques on the Manhattan Beach Pier before a crowd of about 100 fans.

At the ceremony, the men and the women each revealed their respective plaques on the pier, and then were presented with full-size versions of the plaques to keep.

"This is sacred sand," hometown favorite Walsh Jennings told the crowd. "One of the reasons I love Manhattan Beach so much is that you have to be a true volleyball player to win here. Strength only gets you so far when the deep sand kicks in." 

Ross agreed, noting that she often gets asked which is her favorite beach for playing volleyball. "I think they're looking for me to answer with some exotic beach, but there really isn't a better beach than Manhattan Beach to play volleyball."

The Manhattan Beach Open, which was first played in 1960, has since become one of the most prestigious and popular events in professional volleyball.

"One of the things that makes Manhattan Beach great is the Manhattan Beach Open," said Manhattan Beach Mayor Mark Burton. "We are the birthplace of beach volleyball, and this is the granddaddy of events."

Donald Sun, the managing partner of the AVP, told the crowd that Manhattan Beach was the quintessential location for a beach volleyball tournament. "This event has been called the 'Wimbledon' of beach volleyball, but I don't think it should be compared with anything else. I hope someday people will say, 'We're the Manhattan Beach of cricket,' or rugby, or whatever."

The 2015 Manhattan Beach Open tournament continues through Sunday at the AVP stadium just south of the pier.

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